Same thing with other of the city's amenities. I can't remember the last time I went to an in-town museum. Rarely do I step inside an art gallery. And the city's vaunted music scene may as well be happening in Des Moines, for all that I take advantage of it. Yet I will miss them. They were part of what made this place this place.

This place has changed, for better and worse. The new restaurants, fancy-shmancy though they may be, offer a vastly more diverse menu and higher-quality fare, which is better. On the other hand, there is a lot more traffic, property taxes are higher, and the city is more commercialized.

While devouring my enchiladas, I reflect on the changes. It's still a great city, despite its flaws. It remains a gloriously, sometimes maddeningly, idiosyncratic place, where dreamers and artists and con men all find fertile soil for their derring-do. I take another bite. I'll miss you, orange construction barrels!

Every time I da-da-ya-ya … start heading for the door.
Da-da … says, 'Turn around you fool.'
Tell me whyyy.
Is it so?
Don't wanna let you GO.
I never can say goodbye-eye.


Moving is a little like the New Year. Even with the bad things that may have occurred, you miss what you're leaving behind, and even with the trepidation you feel about the difficulties lying in wait, you look forward to what's ahead.

We're moving to Washington, D.C. (I am vainglorious enough to think that some of you may wonder if the column will continue. It will.) It would be false not to acknowledge that the nation's capital is going through a trying time, but so is the rest of the nation. The future is never easy. Sometimes it seems downright hard. This is one of those times. Yet it is the future, and you go and greet it, perhaps with dread, but also with enthusiasm. I'll miss where I've been, but I'm excited to be moving.